Review Blog

Feb 27 2012

The dead I know by Scot Gardner

cover image

Allen and Unwin 2011. ISBN 9781742373843.
(Age: Secondary) Recommended. This book is unusual in that it deals with death, not usually a topic dealt with in society. More specifically, it touches upon the funeral industry and the disposal of the dead. It does this sensitively and respectfully and this is one of the strengths of the book.
Aaron Rowe has dreams and sleepwalks. He often wakes up in unexpected places and doesn't know how he got there. He lives with his Mam in a caravan and is bullied by another resident of the caravan park. Aaron's life begins to change when he starts a job as an assistant to a funeral director. Through the care and understanding of John Barton, Aaron begins to take hold of his life and to confront his dreams and sleepwalking. At the same time, he has to deal with his Mam's descent in dementia.
This book can be read and enjoyed on many levels. Aaron is a likeable character who has a lot to deal with. Ultimately the dreams and sleepwalking are resolved and Aaron is able to deal with the problems in his life realistically and satisfactorily. His Mam's dementia is explained as all the parts of the puzzles in the book fit together. I particularly like this book and would recommend it to secondary students.
David Rayner

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
2017 Inky Awards shortlist
Environment Award for Children's Literature 2017
Book Week 2017 ideas - Escape to Everywhere
Speech Pathology shortlist 2017
2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals
2017 Branford Boase Award
2017 UKLA Book Awards
Little Rebels Children's Book Award 2017
10th UK Waterstones Children's Laureate
UK Children's Book Award 2017
Laugh Out Loud Awards 2017 shortlist
2017 Locus Awards Winners
Miles Franklin longlist 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates